Alright, so, I’m sitting in the middle of class, my teacher is telling me and the class important information about the upcoming exam when I hear an obnoxious ringtone from someone’s phone in the corner of the room. I quickly glance over to see someone fumbling in his pocket to try and silence the device before the teacher turns the wrath on him.
Chances are you’ve been in my place in this predicament or have been the subject of these matters. So I pose a question for you: are we in fact too connected with the world?
As someone who doesn’t have a mobile phone, I know what it’s like to be out of touch with my friends, relatives or other people of interest. For me, it’s no skin off of the back of my nose because I am self-reliant and can manage without. But when I walk the halls of NMU, I can’t help but notice someone’s face glued to her mobile device as I try to avoid walking into her. This has been an ever-increasing trend that I’ve noticed in my three-and-a-half year stay at NMU. In fact, I have counted how many students have had their cell phones in their hands as they’re walking and the number is astonishing. On average I can count 20 people using their phones as they’re walking, often not even aware of their surroundings as I usually notice them only evading others, and myself, at the last possible moment. I often find myself asking why people keep their heads attached to their phones and the ground, but I suppose others would argue that by me being entrenched in my laptop most of the time, though not nearly for the same reasons as a phone is handled on campus, is the same as having a cell phone ready. It is silly that people compare phones to laptops, as I personally use my laptop as a learning tool, despite the added benefit of being connected to the Internet.
We are becoming far too connected with the world, consuming information at a far more rapid pace than you could ever do by sitting in a library or watching a documentary in a classroom. In regard to learning, this is actually a rather interesting aspect for connections with the world, and I personally think it is a great thing to learn all we can on all the subjects we desire to understand. But not only are we gathering information, we are also being flooded by the absurd amount of talk we generate between friends and family to the point where it has become intrusive on our own lives.
I’ve had some nice talks with people on campus before, only to be rudely interrupted mid-conversation as they whip out their phone to answer a text, only to be asked “where were we?” when they get through with their two-minute long text session. Sometimes, people have those random spats of information where it is of dire concern. I get that; it’s important, and they want to be in the loop. All too often though, you don’t often hear of the things that are important, particularly because of my philosophy that having it means you won’t receive an important call.To clarify, my philosophy is that if you have a cell phone, you’ll never need it, but if you don’t have one, you’ll need it at some point.
This is why I’m self-sufficient in locating a phone on campus and know where to go if there is ever a situation where I need to make a call. I prefer the solidity of not having a cell phone, but am fully capable of locating a means to an end when I need to make a call.
But as I shall bluntly put it, you can have a cell phone and be connected, but you will rarely receive an important call that is of immediate urgency. It’s always “what are you doing?” or “where do you want to meet up?” that pops up in text messages or calls.
These are distracting to the class as a whole, and no one wants to hear people fumbling through their baggage trying to silence their phone when class is in session, let alone a simple conversation.